BEIJING: Two Indian traders, abducted and tortured after their trading firm’s owner fled without paying his dues to businessmen in south China’s Yiwu city last year, have been forced to live on Shanghai streets since Tuesday after the Indian embassy stopped paying their hotel bills.
The two – Deepak Raheja and Shyamsunder Agarwal – had been staying in a hotel after the embassy rescued them from captivity and bought them back from Yiwu. “We are on the streets. We have no money for the hotel as the embassy has stopped supporting us,” Agarwal said. “Please help us go home to India.”
Sources said the embassy has spent more than $7,000 on their hotel bills and that it cannot pay them endlessly as its responsibility is limited to ensuring that they get justice. Embassy officials were unavailable for comments.
The two were asked to pay $1.58 million to Chinese traders after the Yemeni owner of their firm fled. They have been charged in a Chinese court of short-changing local businessmen. But they two have maintained that they have nothing to do with the unpaid dues.
Chinese government said they two face court cases in south China and cannot leave the country until they honor commitments to local businessmen. “Since the two Indian businessmen have not honored their compensations commitment, the relevant court has ordered them not to leave. This order still in effect,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Thursday. He hoped the two would settle the dues and resolve the issue soon.
It is unclear whether the Indian government is trying to track down the Indian co-owner of the firm that has allegedly made huge purchases from Chinese traders in Yiwu without paying for them.